1) What is a Shipping Label?
A shipping label, as the name suggests, is a printed label affixed on top of an eCommerce product that’s being dispatched from the seller to the buyer. This label provides all the information required to transport the package from the origin to the destination. Typically, it includes a tracking number and a barcode that is scannable, which enables a courier service provider to send regular updates regarding the shipment to the business owner as well as the customer who is expecting to receive the item. Every package has a unique and varying shipping label. Some packages may require a label with only the recipient’s address and name, while others may need to have the order number, payment details, and other information as well.
As you may have gathered through that extensive description, handling shipping labels can be an entire task in itself. And that’s especially true for an eCommerce business that delivers products across countries and continents. There are just too many loose ends to tie up, and that is why entire process departments are set up to handle product labeling at leading eCommerce shipping carriers.
In this post, we’re going to discuss the labeling operation at one such international shipping carrier which has centers all across the globe. We’re talking about FedEx, and this is the complete guide on FedEx shipping labels.
2) How to create a FedEx shipping label online?
The best way to determine which shipping label option is suitable for your business is to do a self-check on how often you ship and in what volume. If you ship only a few times a year and only a few packages, then you can create a FedEx shipping label via the following steps:-
- Without even creating a FedEx account, you can simply use your credit card to create labels.
- The next step is to email this label to your recipient or yourself.
If you’re shipping packages all the time and in bulk quantities, then you can create multiple shipping labels for your business by creating a FedEx account. Creating a FedEx account also lets you avail the following facilities.
* Create multiple labels in one go
* Avail discounts on shipping
* Ability to manage and store addresses for faster creation of labels
3) How to print FedEx shipping labels?
If you’ve decided how often you ship and have designed the blueprint of your business’ shipping labels, let’s go ahead and take a look at how to print them out.
You can print your FedEx shipping labels directly through your FedEx account with the help of your office printer, however, just in case you’re unable to do so, you can have them printed at the nearest FedEx outlet. This can be done with the help of the following steps: -
- Enter the zip code of your location in the search box and locate the nearest FedEx outlet.
- Select the right city from the dropdown box.
- Look at the locations offering printing services and then select the print option.
- You will receive a QR code, please save it.
- Go over to the selected outlet.
- Show the QR code you received earlier to a staff member and they will print the label for you.
4) What are the next steps after creating a FedEx shipping label?
After you have created and printed your FedEx shipping labels, you will need to decide on the destination of the shipment. FedEx follows a separate guideline for domestic and international shipping. Thus, first, you need to decide the destination of the package. If it’s domestic then move on to the next step, however, if it’s international you can scroll down and read the section on international shipping.
4.1) For Domestic Shipping (within the U.S)
4.1.1) Make sure the item can be dispatched
There are a few items that require to be shipped in a certain way and some items cannot be shipped at all. Ensure to read through the service guide provided by FedEx to see which items are dangerous and prohibited to be shipped.
4.1.2) Package the product the right way
Packaging is one of the most crucial elements in shipping and must be done the right way. By selecting the right kind of packaging, you can save your shipment from damage and provide a greater shopping experience to your customers. Along with providing you with shipping supplies and packaging your shipment for you, FedEx offers tips and solutions to pack your shipment by yourself.
4.1.3) Select the optimum shipping services
FedEx offers a wide range of shipping services to accommodate different kinds of budgets and timelines. You can use the rating tool provided by FedEx to check out the prices of the services based on the destination and speed of your shipment.
4.1.4) Check out any additional services or delivery options you may require
Along with a spectrum of shipping services, FedEx also offers several additional services for both recipients and shippers. These include delivery services such as holding onto a package at the FedEx office, signature at the time of delivery, and shipping services like shipping with dry ice.
4.1.5) Printing and attaching the label:
Once you have packed your shipment and printed out your label (as described in the previous section), peel the adhesive backing off the label and slide it into a clear pouch. Then securely stick that onto the largest side of the package. Don’t cover the label with anything and avoid taping over it. In case the label is larger than the side of the package, place the label in such a way that the recipient’s information is on one seam and the barcode is on the other side.
4.1.6) Hand over your package to FedEx:
Now that you have securely packed and labeled your package, it’s time to drop it off at the nearest FedEx outlet. Alternatively, you could schedule a pick up for it by FedEx, which can be arranged via your account or by giving FedEx a call.
4.2) For International Shipping (outside the U.S)
Although the guideline to shipping a package overseas is similar to shipping domestically, there are several differences in the delivery options and the paperwork required. It can be overwhelming, but worry not, listed below are the steps that you need to follow while shipping overseas.
4.2.1) Ensure the item can be shipped:
In addition to reading FedEx’s guide about which items can be shipped and in what way, shipping internationally also requires you to read through the guidelines of importing in the destination country, for sometimes certain parties are prohibited from import and export points of view.
4.2.2) Select a broker for customs and discuss the terms:
A customs broker will get your shipment through customs without any hold-ups and will deal with any problems that arise during the transit. For packages of value $500,000 and less, FedEx provides a broker, but you and the recipient also have the option to select a broker of your choice. The buyer and seller need to decide on the IncoTerms, aka the International Commercial Terms, which are specifically designed to decide the point of transfer of ownership, who pays for costs like cleaners, documentations and broker selections.
4.2.3) Do the necessary additional research:
Ensure you have the answers to all questions regarding your package, such as the purpose of the product, the value of the commodity, country of manufacture, estimate of the duties and taxes, details of the consignee/importer, and who will be paying the transportation charges and taxes. These will be needed when the product crosses international borders.
4.2.4) Check what documents are required for customs:
Generally, Commercial Invoice is the primary document that is required for commodity-based shipments that are non-documented. This document assists the authorities at customs in assessing the actions that need to be performed on the package during transit, like duties, taxes, and whether the package needs to move out or inside the country. Other commonly required documents are Certificate of Origin, packing list, and Pro Forma invoice.
The documents required differ from shipment to shipment and are based on the origin as well as the destination of the package.
4.2.5) Generate a shipping label
Creating a shipping label and submission of required documents for customs can be done both in-store and online. While completing the forms for an international shipping label, ensure to provide the correct details regarding the recipient’s name, phone number, and address, along with the exact details of the value and quantity of the products inside the package. The price and duration of transit of the shipments completely depend on the elements inside the package, the destination, and by when it needs to be delivered.
4.2.6) Fill up the required forms and documents:
By maintaining a consistent description of the contents inside the packaging across all the documents, you can help significantly reduce delays in customs. To provide a good description, the following questions must be answered:
* What is inside?
* Quantity of the elements inside?
* What material is it made out of?
* Use of the product.
* Which country was it manufactured by?
The required documents can be submitted both electronically and manually.
4.2.7) Package your goods carefully
As explained earlier, it’s crucial that you pack the products in the right way. This will ensure they don’t get damaged when they’re shipped across borders. Take care of using the appropriate material, including sufficient dunnage, and use moisture-resistant packaging if needed. You can either pack the products yourself or consult FedEx for tips and help on how to do it.
Once you have packed your shipment as described above and printed out your label (as shown in the previous section), paste it on the package as described in the domestic shipping section above. The procedure for doing this is the same.
4.2.8) Drop your shipment at the nearest FedEx store:
After securely packing and labeling the shipment, you need to drop it off at the nearest FedEx outlet. The documentation for customs and the payment for the shipment can also be done in the same outlet. You can also schedule a pick-up for your package by FedEx, and this can be done very easily online.
5) How to use a manual FedEx shipping label?
The most convenient way to generate shipping labels is via the online tools offered by FedEx. However, some shipments may require a manual label, which is nothing but an airbill given by FedEx.
6) What is the cost of FedEx Shipping labels?
The costs of shipping entirely depend upon the speed and delivery services you choose, the size and volume of the shipment, and the destination. Generally, the farther and heavier the package, the more the cost. Nevertheless, you can check the exact cost on the FedEx website.
7) Final Words About FedEx Shipping Labels
We hope that at this point you’re sufficiently aware of the steps involved in creating and printing FedEx shipping labels and how you can use them to successfully ship your products within and outside of the U.S. In case of any queries that you may have, please don’t hesitate in contacting FedEx for help, but we would recommend going through the detailed guides available on their website first.
8) FAQs on FedEx Shipping labels
8.1) Can shipping labels be reprinted?
To get your shipping label reprinted, head over to the FedEx Ship Manager page and click on the Ship History option that appears on top of the page. Select the shipment for which you require the label to be printed, and then select reprint. The option for reprint is only valid if the label has been created but not used yet. For any fraudulent activity like making use of the same label for several shipments, there will be additional charges and possible cancellation of your account number at FedEx.
8.2) Can labels be printed in advance?
Labels can be printed five days in advance for shipments via FedEx Express Freight and ten days ahead for FedEx Express.
8.3) Do shipping labels have an expiry date?
Shipping labels do have an expiration but the dates are varying. Generally, labels that are emailed are printable for up to two years. However, once the label has been printed it will expire in two weeks.
8.4) What to do if the shipping label is lost?
If your label is lost, you will have to make a new one. However, if the lost label was unused, you will not be charged for it. If your label was pre-printed with your package, you can request the sender to send you a new one via email.